Ever wondered how your smartphone magically stores your stuff? Well, inside it is a little piece of silicon – a NAND memory chip, where all the data is being safely kept. A new technology, however, is likely to emerge as an alternative to silicon-based memory chips. It is called phase-change memory (PCM), and the first mass-produced samples are already available from Micron.
The chips that are currently in production are 1Gb (128 megabytes) in size, with an additional 512Mb (64 megabytes) of volatile memory included, which makes them suitable for use in feature phones. Future models, however, will be of greater capacity and might end up being used in smartphones and tablets. What makes the PCM chips better than conventional NAND flash memory is that they can theoretically reach read speeds of 400 megabytes per second. As the technology evolves, it might even replace the kinds of RAM modules that smartphone makers currently use. Last but not least, PCM memory is energy efficient, which should help prolong the battery life of devices it is used in.
For more info about PCM and the way it works, check out the demo video that we have embedded below.
+- Press Release
Micron Announces Availability of Phase Change Memory for Mobile Devices
First PCM Solution in the World in Volume Production
BOISE, Idaho, July 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:MU), one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced an industry first with high-volume availability of its 45-nanometer (nm) Phase Change Memory (PCM) for mobile devices, featuring 1-gigabit (Gb) PCM plus 512-megabit (Mb) LPDDR2 in a multichip package. As the first company in the world currently offering PCM solutions in volume production, Micron is providing chipset vendors, enablers, and handset manufacturers with a proven product that meets the expanding needs of today's wireless market and paves the way for enhanced features and capabilities.
PCM provides enhanced boot time, simplifies software development and boosts performance with overwrite capability. It also provides very low power consumption and extremely high reliability. In addition, the design-optimizing shared interface between LPDDR2 and PCM is fully compliant with JEDEC industry standards.
Micron's 45nm PCM solution is currently targeted for utilization in feature phones, with a future roadmap aimed at addressing smartphones and media tablets.
"Our commitment to innovation and continued development of advanced products to address the voracious demands of the wireless industry is clear and strong," said Tom Eby, Vice President of the Wireless Solutions Group at Micron. "We are determined to evolve and innovate by continuing to offer the best-tailored solutions for both today's and tomorrow's market requirements."
Micron's PCM product line has established a foothold in the wireless industry, as evidenced by longstanding key relationships with global customers and enablers, ongoing engagement with major device manufactures, and strong cooperation with Intel Mobile Communications, which includes recent PCM qualification.
"Intel's Mobile and Communications Group is at the forefront of new cellular product and technology enablement, and we see great value in Micron's PCM technology," said Stefan Butz, Vice President, Marketing and Product Planning for Intel's Mobile and Communications Group. "With a commitment to innovation and standardization, as well as a long history of cooperation with Intel, Micron is a trusted supplier."
From entry-level phones to high-end smartphones and tablets, Micron supplies virtually every volatile and nonvolatile memory product utilized in wireless devices today, including NOR, NAND, PCM, LPDRAM and e·MMC™ embedded memory, meeting the need for increased performance, expanding storage requirements, mature technology replacement, and package capability.